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8 Best Open Source Helpdesk Systems for 2023 [Free]

by Jelisaveta Sapardic·Updated
open source helpdesk cover image

Open source helpdesk is a type of ticket management software with an open source code, meaning it’s usually freely available for potential modification. It helps you offer customer support and handle user requests from different channels, allowing agents to manage everything from one place.

Now, while there are many great paid options for helpdesk solutions out there, open source systems are a great alternative.

Why?

Not only are these tools free to use, but also offer an impressive array of features that provide a simple way to boost your customer service game. 

Interested?

Make sure to read on.

In this article, we’ll talk about the following open source ticketing systems:

Open source ticketing systemRatingFree plan/trialBest for
Tidio4.7/5 ⭐️ Live chat and chatbots
osTicket4.4/5 ⭐️ Integration capabilities
Zammad4.4/5 ⭐️ Free 30-day trialUser-friendly interface
FreeScout4.5/5 ⭐️ Email management
UVDesk4.2/5 ⭐️Knowledge base creation
Faveo4.7/5 ⭐️Customizable workflows
Hesk4.6/5 ⭐️Simple and user-friendly interface
Rocket.Chat4.2/5 ⭐️Customization capabilities

Provide excellent support with open source helpdesk functionality

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Looking for other types of software that will help enhance your customer support efforts? Check out these articles:

Let’s cut straight to the chase—

A list of the best free ticketing system software

There’s a vast number of open source platforms out there. So, to save you time, we went ahead and chose the best ones based on their ratings and amount of features available.

Aside from being among the top-rated helpdesk open source software, all these providers offer comprehensive customer support features. Moreover, they can assist agents in managing visitor queries and are freely available for users who desire more customization and control. 

We will delve into the key features, advantages, and potential downsides of each system, enabling you to choose the one that best suits your business needs.

Here are the best open source helpdesk software:

1. Tidio

tidio helpdesk system

Rating: 4.7/5 ⭐️ (1,410+ reviews)

Tidio is a customer service and helpdesk system designed to streamline support and engage clients through live chat, chatbots, and email marketing automation. While it’s not a fully open source solution, it does offer a lot of features for free.

This also includes a free ticketing system with an unlimited number of tickets. All in all, Tidio’s practical helpdesk tools will help you optimize your support processes and improve your team’s efficiency as a whole.

Main features:

  • Free online ticketing system to easily manage customer requests
  • Chat widget to enhance interactions between clients and the helpdesk team
  • Chatbots that allow auto-responder messages to common inquiries
  • Multichannel capabilities including email, Messenger, and Instagram
  • Routing of real-time messages and support requests to the best-suited agents

Pricing:

  • Forever-free plan available 
  • Starter ($29/mo)
  • Communicator ($25/mo/seat)
  • Chatbots ($29/mo)
  • Bundled solution: Chatbots + Communicator ($54/mo)
  • Tidio+ (Starting from $394/mo)

Read more: Check out our knowledge base and find out all about using Tidio’s ticketing system. Also, learn how this luxury beauty brand managed to increase sales using Tidio.

Improve customer service with a robust helpdesk system

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2. osTicket

osticket helpdesk system

Rating: 4.4/5 ⭐️ (40+ reviews)

osTicket is another open source helpdesk ticketing system known for its simplicity and ease of use. It offers features such as support ticket system management, email integration, and knowledge base creation. With its intuitive interface and robust functionality, osTicket is a great option for businesses of all sizes. 

Pros:

  • Custom fields to summarize collected user data when submitting a ticket
  • Ticket routing of notifications to the right departments
  • Ticket locking mechanism to avoid agent collision

Cons:

  • It can be difficult to find a specific ticket if you don’t know its number 
  • The UI has a bit of an outdated appearance

Pricing:

  • Open source (Free)
  • Cloud-hosted (Starting at $12/mo/agent)
  • Virtual Appliance: Contact sales

Read more: Find the best free CRM software for your business needs.

3. Zammad

zammad helpdesk system

Rating: 4.4/5 ⭐️ (9+ reviews)

Zammad is a modern and user-friendly helpdesk system built with Ruby language that offers a range of features to enhance customer support. It includes ticket management, knowledge base creation and templates, as well as live chat functionality. In addition, Zammad also offers integrations with popular communication channels such as email and social media, making it a versatile choice for businesses.

Pros:

  • Customer interface that enables end-user to monitor the status of their ticket
  • History of changes to track who modified which changes and when
  • The ability to create individual lists and overviews for specific support teams

Cons:

  • Some users want to see more integrations
  • One user reported that the system was buggy and outdated

Pricing:

  • Free 30-day trial available 
  • Starter ($5/mo/agent)
  • Professional ($15/mo/agent)
  • Plus ($24/mo/agent)

Read more: Check out the best ecommerce integrations available on the market.

4. FreeScout

freescout helpdesk system

Rating: 4.5/5 ⭐️ (10+reviews)

FreeScout is a free-to-use, lightweight, and powerful open source helpdesk system. It’s MySQL and PHP-based (Laravel framework) with access to the GitHub repository. This is essentially a self-hosted clone of HelpScout and a popular alternative for Zendesk. Users love it for its shared mailbox functionality, numerous modules, and seamless email integration. There’s also a free version of the mobile app available for Android and iOS.

Pros:

  • Unlimited support agents, tickets, and mailboxes
  • Collision detection when two agents open the same conversation
  • Support of modern Microsoft Exchange authentication

Cons:

  • Some features are missing, like a knowledge base or API
  • Sometimes minor bugs appear

Pricing:

  • Free to use
  • Additional modules (Starting from $2.99/module) 

Read more: Here’s all you need to know about the top HelpScout alternatives and competitors.

5. UVdesk

UVdesk helpdesk system

Rating: 4.2/5 ⭐️ (5+ reviews)

UVdesk is another free online helpdesk ticketing system built on the Symfony PHP framework. It offers a range of features including ticket and user management, email integration, and ecommerce tools and channels. This platform also provides multilingual support, making it a great choice for businesses with a global customer base. In addition, there’s a plugin version of UVdesk that you can connect to your WordPress-powered store for seamless integration.

Pros:

  • Easy user management and custom workflows to respond faster
  • Self-service knowledge base window to provide quick replies to FAQs 
  • Ticket assignment and condition-based workflow

Cons:

  • Limited integrations
  • UI is really basic

Pricing:

  • Open source (Free forever)
  • Pro ($22/mo/2 agents)
  • Enterprise ($36/mo/2 agents)

Read more: Find out all you need to know about FAQ chatbots and learn how they can help automate your business processes.

6. Faveo

Faveo helpdesk system

Rating: 4.7/5 ⭐️ (20+ reviews)

Simple but powerful, Faveo is another great helpdesk management system that will aid your team in staying on top of their customer support game. It comes with automation and SLA management features that help automate repetitive tasks and also allows you to seamlessly connect with all channels. There’s also a comprehensive knowledge base and FAQs, reducing the need for users to contact support.

Pros:

  • Auto-reply, canned responses, and internal notes
  • Ticket merging, assignment, and workflow
  • Powerful reporting features 

Cons:

  • It can be a little slow while patching updates
  • One user reported a few bulk functionalities being slow

Pricing:

  • Help Desk Freelancer (Free/2 agents/mo)
  • Help Desk Startup ($72)
  • Help Desk SME ($144)
  • Help Desk Company: Contact sales

7. Hesk

Hesk helpdesk system

Rating: 4.6/5 ⭐️ (4+ reviews)

This is a cloud-based helpdesk and customer support software with an interface that’s easy to use. Aside from a centralized support system with ticket management, it also has knowledge base features. If you’d like, you can look into SysAid, a service desk partner of Hesk, and get access to features like live chat and advanced reporting and analytics.

Pros:

  • The ability to prioritize and track ticket urgency and status
  • Canned responses, ticket templates, and custom data fields
  • Integrated knowledge base

Cons:

  • UI for editing and updating knowledge base articles has an old-school design
  • Some users think an archive system should be more intuitive

Pricing:

  • Open source (Free)
  • Hesk Website License ($49.99, one-time fee only)
  • Hesk Advanced License ($199.99, one-time fee only)
  • SysAid Service Desk (Hesk Partner): Contact sales

8. Rocket.Chat

Rocket.chat helpdesk system

Rating: 4.2/5 ⭐️ (320+ reviews)

Rocket.Chat is a secure and versatile collaboration platform that allows you to interact with colleagues, other companies, customers, and communities. It comes with a ticketing system and omnichannel customer collaboration features, letting you respond to users no matter how they contact you. Moreover, you can easily connect Rocket.Chat with tools you already use, including WhatsApp Business, Zapier, Mod Assist, and more.

Pros:

  • Analytics and real-time monitoring
  • Live chat, email, and SMS messaging + more in paid plans
  • Custom roles and permissions in the Enterprise plan

Cons:

  • One user faced upgrading issues
  • It can get a bit complex for non-technical users

Pricing:

  • Community (Free)
  • Enterprise ($7/mo/user or $35/mo/agent)
  • Enterprise add-ons: Contact sales

Now that you reached the end of our list, it’s time to address another important question—

What are the benefits of using an open source ticket management system?

There’s no shortage of advantages that come with using the features of an open source helpdesk platform for your needs. Here are some of the most important ones:

  • Cost-Effectiveness

Since open source software is typically free to use, businesses can significantly cut costs as compared to using proprietary systems. In fact, according to Zipdo, open source software saves businesses more than $60 billion every year.

  • Omnichannel functionality

Research indicates that the most commonly used communication channels include chatbots (44%), followed by Facebook (42%), WhatsApp (34%), and SMS (32%). Open source ticket management systems usually offer greater flexibility and can be customized to fit the unique needs of each business, including omnichannel customer service experience.

  • Integration capabilities

According to the latest global software buying trends, integration capabilities are a #3 factor users take into account when choosing the software for their needs. Most open source helpdesk systems are designed with this compatibility in mind and can be integrated seamlessly with other platforms.

  • Security features

Due to more scrutiny from the community, open source systems tend to be more secure and any safety loopholes are quickly found and fixed. In fact, as many as 89% of IT leaders believe open source is more secure than proprietary software. By using a secure system to handle customer inquiries, you keep your client’s data safe and boost customer loyalty in the long run.

Best free open source helpdesk software: key takeaway

All open source helpdesk systems on our list offer a range of features to improve customer support processes. These include anything from built-in knowledge base and ticketing to email marketing functionality and third-party integrations. 

Once again, the best open source ticket systems include:

  1. Tidio
  2. osTicket
  3. Zammad
  4. FreeScout
  5. UVDesk
  6. Faveo
  7. Hesk
  8. Rocket.Chat

Whether you’re a small business or a large enterprise, there’s surely an open source helpdesk solution on this list that can help you provide an excellent customer experience. Just be sure to check the features of each platform carefully in order to pick the one that works best for your needs.

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Jelisaveta Sapardic
Jelisaveta Sapardic

Tidio’s Content Writer with a passion for languages. As an avid learner interested in all things tech, Jelisaveta always strives to share her knowledge with others and help people and businesses reach their goals.

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